There were no upsets in the top featured games from the NCS, CCS and SJS but in the Best of the Rest the NCS had a couple of minor surprises.
Sacred Heart Prep-Atherton 24, The Kings Academy-Sunnyvale 9
Everything about the way host Sacred Heart Prep treated its old coach Pete Lavorato was cordial and respectful except on the field.
Just as had been outlined in the NorCal Regional Games of the Week feature, the Peninsula Athletic League – Bay Division matchup with The Kings Academy appeared to be a game to be won by the team that controlled the line of scrimmage, and that’s exactly what happened in a 24-9 victory by Sacred Heart Prep.
The 67-year-old Lavorato, who spent 14 years at Sacred Heart Prep, leaving after the 2016 season with five CCS titles and a pair of appearances in the CIF state Bowl Game championships in 2013 and 2015, brought his Knights into Atherton on a 12-game winning streak that included a CIF CCS Division V title last year.
On this night however, the winning coach was Mark Grieb, and he did it using the same system he inherited from Lavorato, maintain control with the running game, even though senior primary running back Tevita Moimoi was dinged up. Grieb only inserted Moimoi in the fourth quarter and the 6-foot, 220-pounder took it in from 3-yards with 2:36 left for the game’s final tally.
In front of a packed house on Senior Night Prep2Prep Central Coast Section No. 10 Sacred Heart Prep (6-2, 3-1 PAL – Bay) made it clear right from the start what their intentions would be after marching 80 yards in a 15-play drive that only included two passes, consumed 7 minutes and 18 seconds, and culminated in 1-yard plunge by Tatafu Mahoni (12 carries, 80 yards, one TD rushing) that gave the Gators a 7-0 lead they never relinquished.
Prep2Prep CCS No. 13 The Kings Academy (7-1, 2-1) had its share of gaffes with three lost fumbles and a bad snap on a punt that turned into a 29-yard loss, but even so they still have life after cutting it to 17-9 on a TD reception by Zach Paszkeicz, who finished with seven catches for 132 yards.
The Kings Academy now travels to Terra Nova-Pacifica before closing out league play at P2P CCS No. 5 Menlo-Atherton-Atherton
Monte Vista-Danville 31, Clayton Valley-Concord 21
Prep2Prep CIF North Coast Section No. 4 Monte Vista used big plays on offense and defense to build a 28-6 lead and then held off host Clayton Valley in a game that was expected to be physical, and lived up to the billing.
Several Monte Vista players came up big, but none bigger that Mustangs star and solid D1 recruit Nate Rutchena, who shined on both sides of the line of scrimmage. For the game coverage feature click here.
Ripon 38, Hughson 14
After Ripon came up with a big upset of previous Cal-Hi Sports Small School No. 1 ranked Escalon two weeks ago, we decided the Indians needed some love.
As a result we went to the Metro Modesto area just south of the Tuolumne River for our CIF Sac-Joaquin Section featured game as part of the NorCal Regional Games of the Week feature, and despite being banged up and suffering a bit of a letdown and a poor performance from it kicking game, Ripon did not disappoint in a big road win by the Sacramento Bee CIF Sac-Joaquin Section No. 2 small school and Cal-Hi Sports No. 6 small school in the state.
In front of a packed house visiting Ripon (8-1, 4-1 Trans Valley League) trailed 7-6 early in the second quarter and only led 20-14 at the half, but the defense shut the door on Hughson and the offense scored the game’s final 18 points in what turned out to be a big win.
In his second game back after returning from a knee injury, Ripon quarterback Nico Ilardi threw for three touchdowns. Danny Hernandez had TD runs of 52 and 15 yards, plus he added a 2-point run for Ripon’s only conversion points in the game. Brandon Rainer added two TDs, one each rushing and receiving.
Ripon now has to heal up a bit and if they can beat 1-8 Modesto Christian-Modesto this Friday, the Indians will be assured of no worse than a tie for first place in league.
Best of the Rest
Prep2Prep CIF North Coast Section No. 10 James Logan-Union City (8-1, 5-0) continued to roll in an impressive 36-20 win over NCS No. Moreau Catholic-Hayward (6-3, 4-1) that pretty much wraps up the Mission Valley Athletic League for Coach Ricky Rodriguez and his Colts with one game in league remaining of Friday with a Kennedy-Fremont team that is 5-4 overall and 3-2 in league. Logan was led by Chase Sims and Shamoun Duncan-Niusulu who combined for five touchdowns.
Some analysts thought this might be a game in which Prep2Prep NCS No. 7 Las Lomas-Walnut Creek would wrap up the Diablo Athletic League – Foothill Division but P2P NCS No. 15 Campolindo-Moraga had something to say about that as the Cougars overcame an early 7-0 deficit and rolled past the Knights with 24-straight points in a 34-14 rout of home standing Knights. Las Lomas (8-1, 3-1) had completed league play and can do no worse than a tied for first place. Campolindo (7-2, 2-1) now improves its pecking order in the NCS D2 playoffs with one league game remaining against arch rival Miramonte-Orinda
Like a lot of games it came down to a field goal and the hero was Prep2Prep North Coast Section No. 16 San Ramon Valley kicker Chase Salisbury after the Wolves sophomore split the upright from 23-yards out with 1.5 seconds remaining to lift San Ramon Valley (6-3, 2-2) to a come from behind 24-21 victory over host and P2P NCS No. 8 California.
Coaching with a heavy heart after his mother Lula passed away earlier in the week Encinal coach Keith Minor had his team flying high after the P2P NCS No. 17 Jets soared to a 13-12 victory over NCS No 11 and visiting San Leandro. The Pirates scored with 1:51 left in the game but after getting a PAT blocked on their first TD Coach Brad Bowers elected to go for a 2-point conversion and Encinal held and then recovered an onside kick to preserve the victory. Encinal (8-1, 4-0) can now win the West Alameda County – Foothill Conference with a win on Friday at Bishop O’Dowd
There’s a reason why Inderkum-Sacramento (9-0, 5-0 Capital Valley Conference) is ranked No. 2 in the Sacramento Bee CIF Sac-Joaquin Section rankings and the Tiger continued their winning ways with a 35-20 victory over a very decent Yuba City behind three rushing TDs by senior running back Dino Watson
It’s always a tough contest when Los Gatos and Palo Alto hook up in what is one of the most heated rivalries in the Central Coast Section and last Friday was no different with P2P CCS No. 8 Los Gatos (8-1, 4-1) held off CCS No. 14 Paly 29-22 in a victory where the Cats defense only gave up 56 yards rushing and had three interceptions.